November 2, 2018:

I Have a Plan!

I’ve recently had the recurrence of night clenching – primarily of the masticating muscles. My dentist sent me to a physiotherapist, Michael Phillips, who has been successfully treating people with jaw problems for many years. Michael Phillips gave me an exercise, and referred me to the book, You The Healer, by Jose Silva. The exercise as prescribed by Michael Phillips worked wonders the very first night, and for several following, by providing me a way of disengaging the muscles mid-clench. Within a week, I signed the book out of the library and began practicing “the Silva method” of self-healing. As I started learning the Silva method, each day, a different ailment from my past resurfaced for which I practiced relaxation and healing and subsequently experienced relief. At the same time the jaw clenching intensity returned and I became less capable of interfering with the muscle “spasm”. One step of the self-healing is, during a relaxed state (specifically functioning with alpha waves) ask oneself “Why do I have this problem?” then allow the mind to wander. Whatever comes to mind leads to an explanation of the root cause. Well, I could not clearly identify any cause other than feeling like I was not giving myself enough attention. Several days later an event triggered a collision of thoughts that brought greater clarity to my problem.

Pause the catYesterday my new cat, Pause, was sitting inside on the windowsill, glaring at another cat crouched outside, in my window box. While I was aware of Pause’s agitation, I did not heed the signs. Smoothly, lovingly I picked him up and he grabbed my forearm between his teeth and bit down hard. Regretfully, I smacked him on the nose, he let go, and I put him down. I thought of a better reaction in case it ever happens again, which alleviated my guilt, but the bruise was there, and I felt compelled to tell the story a few times. This morning, after a night of particularly intense clenching I told the story yet again to my husband. I described how Pause bit down hard and really sunk his teeth into my arm (and no he didn’t break the skin, but there were two indentations for quite a while). And then I began daydreaming in a relaxed state, and several thoughts came together. One was a gentle, barely perceptible thought that was like a soft air current that followed me around the house for several days, “I need to pay attention to myself”. Another was a profoundly noticeable thought as I cut through my art studio two days earlier, “I need a project that I can work on over the coming month, something really engaging”. Another thought was about my over active innervation of my masticating muscles, “I have an excess of energy and need to utilize it so I can truly rest at night.” And another thought came at me hard because the bite from Pause was an example of what I’m attempting to do in my sleep, “I need to sink my teeth into something”. These thoughts were not exactly sequential, more like an “Ah Ha!” I decided right there that I am sinking my teeth into developing the course curriculum for integrating the arts and art education as a health practice.